Monday, April 4, 2016

Week 26 on the Island of Eua

Hey Mom and Dad,
 I'm doing well. This week was good. We got a bunch of new investigators and I baptized our investigator from the north end of the island on Saturday. It all went really well, oops, I forgot to include those pictures, oh well. It was good though. I'm not a pro with the language, but I know enough to get by with most everything if I'm having a conversation. Reading in tongan helps, I feel pretty comfortable right now. 
I have gotten used to the conditions  and everything we have to deal with, and not much bothers me anymore. There was a spider on my wall the other day about the size of my hand and I just picked it up by the leg and tossed it outside without thinking anything of it. Its weird now that I think about it. 
That's cool that your friends daughter got called to my same mission. Maybe I'll run into Sister Pupunu someday. Probably not while I'm on Eua though.
Ofa Atu, Tay
3/28/16 P-day
Got our laundry to Luisa's, then headed to Maikolo for a much needed haircut. He gave me a good haircut, probably my favorite haircut ever. Maikolo is good. Worked out, showered and then headed to the church to email.   After emailing we left for Matamahina (cliffs with the worlds first sunrise).

Those were really cool as usual and I got a ton of pics. On the way back we had to roll the van down the hill to jumpstart it. Talk about memories from lost. The only thing  the island is missing is a Hurley. The van ride with the district to everything was the best part about Siomatanga. Conversations were so good and lots of fun. We were talking about our dreams at one point and everyone's first dreams in Tonga. Then Tafoya spoke up and told everyone that I woke him up a day last week because I was teaching a lesson in Tongan in my sleep. Tons of talk about old memories in Tongamama'o together and so on. Good stuff. The second site we went to was the big ovava tree in the middle of the jungle. We've been there before ( Erickson, Reid, and I) but this time I walked around and found a whole new perspective where you could see the whole thing.
And get this... We found a massive cave!!! The ovava tree starts at the opening of the cave and its roots go all through it. It was really cool. It was huge and we couldn't find the end of it. It got smaller toward the back and opened up into a little underground stream, then we starts hearing bats flying past us. They make little clicking sounds as they fly, so crazy. There was a hole in the top of the cave too.
                               We got some really sweet pics and saw some awesome scenery. On the way back some kids were swimming around in the stone pools that we went to before. All in their tighty whities haha. Jump started the van again, it had to be pushed. The van ride back was really good too, lots of good conversation.
We went to a welcome home party for Elder Vave at Filia Vave's for Fafanga. The party was insane. It was so much fun. All of the Ohonua ward was there and a lot of Houma as well. We got there as President Havea was speaking, sat down and they said a prayer, and then they unveiled the table...maybe four or so tables of food piled on top of food, literally the plates and bowls were all wrapped so that more food could be stacked on top of them. Three or four tuna puakas were on the table too. I've never seen food stacked that high before, there was no place to set your plate down to eat. The president sat us on each side of Elder Vave, he had just returned from serving in the Phillipinnes. We talked with him all through dinner. He told me my Tongan was really good for only being out 6 months. We would grab a plate of food unwrap it, eat it with our hands, then put it on top of other food and grab more. It was cool, I ate three bowls of crab salad (no salad just basically crab meat) it was really good. Then they came around with cake and ice cream and handed it to us. Lots and lots of food. Tongans know how to throw a feast. People stand up and pass around a mic and people will just talk or give a toast while everyone is eating. No one really pays attention to it everyone just continues eating and talking amongst themselves. Then they blasted Tongan dance music. Suli got up and started dancing to it with his ice cream and it was so funny. Everyone was laughing their guts out. It was awesome. It was a great party,  funny and crazy.  
         That night we went to go and teach Isi. We waited for him inside his house for a little bit and then decided to go and get him. We found him at the house across the street and he told us that he was too busy with the neighbors umu "underground oven" to talk, even though he set up that time to talk with us. I didn't let that happen. Haha looking back it was funny, all the stuff I did to get that lesson. "Ha'u! Ha'u! Taimini! Te tau talanoa!" He kept saying he was helping with the neighbors umu and I said that his neighbors were doing it just fine on their own and then I asked "ko e ha Oku majuningataha, e umu or ho'o fakamo'ui?" - "what's more important, the oven or your eternal salvation?" And 
he answered the umu. So then I said "io? E umu? Oku ke fie Ali ki heli? Te ke Ali ki heli koe'uhi ha puaka?" Hahaha interpreted- "oh yeah? The umu? Do you want to go to hell? You're going to go to hell because of a pig?" Hahaha maybe that was a little too much but it rolled off the tongue so easily. He agreed to have the lesson after that though. But then he didn't want to go back to his house for the lesson, and I wanted a member present. "Ha'u tau Ali!" I'm glad Tongan culture is rough cuz I basically pulled him over the fence and no one batted an eye. Haha afterwards I asked Tafoya what he thought of how I made sure that lesson happened, and he said "well, during the process it seemed a little excessive to me." Then he talked as if he was me and said "I'm inviting you unto Christ by pulling you over this fence!" It was funny. Effective though. Wanna go to hell Isi? We ended up having a great lesson. And he set up another appointment with us. 
We headed to the church to prepare the church for the baptism. Swept the room and set up chairs and then waited forever. I was wearing the white tupenu and it was way too big for me. I wrapped it around me and tied both ends to each other. At 10:50 people started showing up. The baptism was great. Most of the Houma branch showed up. I performed the baptism and all was well. President Havea gave a great talk and the Sela who was baptized shared her testimony. She covered so many things. We overheard one of the members say afterwards "man the missionaries did a good job teaching her doctrine". That was nice to hear. Others gave fakamalo (thankful) speeches and one was super funny. Everyone was busting up, I love watching Sifa laugh. It's great. He's got no teeth and it's just great. Love that guy! The best part of the baptism to me though, was Samiu. His leg was injured from something in Uta last week, and while eating Fafanga we invited his family to the baptism. I wasn't sure he would come because of his injury, but he was there ready to support. Samiu is great. That made me happy. He smiled real big at me when I saw him in the back. Good guy. One of the best parts of the day in my opinion 
On the way to one of our appointments we got to look at this awesome Sunset!

Another pic from the cliffs.

Clouds here are so cool!

Some more pics of the ovava tree.

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